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Wolff: Leaving the sport now ‘not the right thing to do’

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Formula 1’s current growth and the promise of a new era should deter manufacturer teams from leaving the sport.

In a little over twelve months, Formula 1 will usher in a new regulation platform intended to improve the spectacle on the track and level the playing field among competitors.

While teams have already started to dig in to the 2021 technical rules, the commercial agreement that will bind competitors to the sport has yet to be finalized.

The changes, coupled with the auto industry’s paradigm shift from combustion engine cars to electric vehicles, has compelled manufacturer teams to perhaps reassess their involvement in F1.

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Both Mercedes and Renault are rumored to be questioning their future in Grand Prix racing. But with F1’s prospects on the rise and transformation on the horizon, jumping ship next year would be an ill-inspired decision according to Toto Wolff.

“All the numbers that are coming in – from audiences in the conventional TV, digital space, sponsorship – are growing,” argued Wolff last weekened in Abu Dhabi.

“I think this is a sport that also with the spending cap coming in in 2021 is an area of growth.

“There will be certain thresholds that will come into the rules about joining the sport, concerning certain franchise value.

“Leaving the sport now would certainly not be the right thing to do from a commercial perspective when it’s just about to turn into a new opportunity.

While open to new teams joining the sport, Wolff insists the current grid should make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.

“Should we be looking out for new teams? If there is interest in joining the grid with a solid foundation, big brands why not have the discussion,” added the Austrian.

“But I think we should all ten of us be proud of being part of the limited grid, we should be conscious about the opportunity and the possibility that lies ahead and concentrate on making it a good business for everybody.”

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